The Supreme court on Friday, upheld Abba Kabir Yusuf as the duly elected Governor of Kano State, reversing his earlier sack.
The Court of Appeal and the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had sacked the governor last year, leading to protests in the state.
Justice John Okoro, who read the lead Judgement, said the Court of Appeal was wrong in affirming the decision of the tribunal, which held that Yusuf did not win the majority of lawful votes cast in the governorship election of March 18, 2023.
In determining the case, a five-man panel of the apex court raised two issues: whether the lower court was right in deducting 165,616 from the votes the Independent National Electoral Commission announced for the governor and whether the lower court could determine the issue of party membership.
The Supreme Court held that the tribunal was wrong in deducting 165,616 votes accrued to Yusuf in the election on grounds that the ballot papers were not signed and stamped by officials of INEC.
According to him, Section 71 of the Eectoral Act relied upon by the tribunal to deduct the disputed votes does not apply in the instant case.
The panel of justices subsequently went ahead to restore the deducted 165,616 votes to reinstate the victory of Yusuf in the governorship election.
On the second issue, the Supreme Court again faulted the Court of Appeal for holding that Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP as of the time he contested the election, adding that the issue of nomination and sponsorship is a pre-election matter and outside the jurisdiction of the court.
Justice Okoro observed that contrary to the appellate court, the tribunal never held that Yusuf was not qualified to contest the poll but that his name was not in the NNPP’s membership register submitted to INEC.
The apex court subsequently set aside the judgment of the two lower courts for being perverse and restored the electoral victory of Abba Yusuf.